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Kats run over Delta Devils

By Drew Lacy
On September 24, 2002

The Sam Houston State offense found a pulse Saturday night as the Bearkats rolled over the Delta Devils of Mississippi Valley State 45-7.The Kats rushed for 175 yards and five touchdowns while sophomore quarterback Travis Tobaben completed 18 of 33 passes for 200 yards."We came out tonight and wanted to prove a point," Tobaben said. "We talked all week about picking our game up and going to the next level. We've got certain goals we want to reach, and in order to do that, we needed to pick our game up."The Kats did exactly that. Going into Saturday night's game, SHSU had only scored a total of 50 points in three games. In the second quarter alone, they scored 31."I think tonight in the first half it finally came together, running the ball and throwing," Tobaben said. "It just wasn't big that we won; it was big how we won."The Bearkat defense also had its best showing of the season, giving up 74 yards rushing to the Delta Devils and picking up eight quarterback sacks. The Kats also picked up five MVSU turnovers, effectively taking control of the game.Senior Kelvin Randall, who picked up two sacks on consecutive plays in the third quarter, said the team came together Saturday night and played the way they knew they could."I think we played with some emotion and we haven't been doing that," Randall said. "I had a heart-to-heart talk with some of the young guys this week. I've been here for a while and I don't know if it hurts some of the young guys when we lose. I bleed orange, and it hurts to lose.Although true freshman Jason Godfrey is not on the defense, his three-touchdown performance was evidence the young Kats responded to the veteran's plea.Godfrey, who was forced into action when Jermaine Gasaway broke his leg last week in practice, found the end zone three times on eight carries. He said he just wanted to contribute however he could to help the team win."The offensive line did a real great job," Godfrey said. "I just followed the blockers and made easy cuts. I give all the credit to those guys on the offensive line.The Delta Devils started the game with some flare, running a reverse on the opening kick off. The play resulted in a 98-yard touchdown by O.J. Moore.After the quick strike to start the game, the Kats took their first drive 63 yards in nine plays, scoring on a four-yard Godfrey run. The usually pass-oriented Kats ran the ball eight times, the one pass being a 31-yard connection from Tobaben to Jason Mathenia."I think that was a big momentum booster right there," Godfrey said. "After they came out and scored, we came right back after that, so I think it boosted our morale."In the Kats second quarter breakout, SHSU found the end zone on touchdown runs by Robert Sanders from 26-yards out; Maurice Harris, eight yards; a 27-yard interception return by Courtney Boston and on a one- yard run by Godfrey.Kicker Joey Price, who was named Southland Conference special teams player of the week, added a 42-yard field goal early in the quarter. Price also made all five of his extra point kicks in the game.The Kats offensive burst came at the right time, as the team looks toward Western Illinois on Saturday. The last two meetings between the teams resulted in lopsided victories by the home team. Last year the Bearkats beat the Leathernecks 49-24, and in 2000, Western Illinois blanked the Kats 31-0. This year, SHSU hopes to change the trend, and increase its record to 3-2 before conference play."As far as momentum, we needed a game like this," Tobaben said. "Western Illinois is a good team, so this game will hopefully start the snowball in the right direction,"Bearkat head coach Ron Randleman said Saturday night's game was good because it gives the team momentum before heading to Illinois."It's going to be a tough trip against a good football team and it will be good for us," Randleman said. "We still need lots of work, but it's a little easier coming off a victory."

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